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Feb 24 2017
by Diana Pope

What Happened This Week in Trump's Presidency

By Diana Pope - Feb 24 2017
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This past week, Trump has worked arduously to reverse a large number of Obama's policies. The President has curtailed significant provisions regarding climate change and transgender rights. In addition, Trump's staff has clearly signaled the conservative elements of his administration's agenda by showing up at CPAC, one of the most revered conservative conferences in the country. If you haven't been keeping up with national news, Fresh U stayed on top of the most important headlines in politics this week: 

1. Trump Names Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as the New Security Advisor 

After Michael Flynn was removed from public office, Trump named Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his replacement for national security advisor. The President is confident with his pick, and called McMaster a man of "tremendous talent and tremendous experience". McMaster has been widely recognized for his history of battlefield leadership during the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War. However, he does not have any experience in the Pentagon, which could pose some difficulties for the Presidential Cabinet. McMaster will serve as the main counselor to the President on national security issues such as Russia's interference with the election and North Korea's various ballistic tests. 

2. Trump Considers Plans to Roll Back Environmental Regulations 

This week, Trump worked on an agenda to deflect funding away from Obama's work with environmental regulations. In one executive order, Trump will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite past regulations on greenhouse-gas emissions. Trump will also try to curtail various provisions under the 1972 Clean Water Act. The President will be working with multiple industries in the coming weeks to cut back on superfluous environmental laws in an effort to bolster economic growth. 

3. Texas Anti-Vaccine Supporters Find Support from the White House

In the past, Trump has supported theories linking autism to vaccines. Trump has even met with Robert Wakefield, who is the leading conspiracy theorist on vaccines. Now, various supporters of the anti-vaccine movement are turning out in Texas to back Trump's positions. The President has even named Robert Kennedy Jr. as the leader of a new commission on "vaccine safety". Experts in public health are concerned that the rapidly growing movement could stymy the administration of necessary vaccines. 

4. Trump's Advisors Reince Preibus and Steve Bannon Host Discussion at CPAC

Steve Bannon and Reince Preibus made a bold move when they decided to be the hosts of the Conservative Political Action Conference this year. They wanted to send a clear message that Trump's administration would work with conservatives to form proper policy and change the media's perception of the far-right. Bannon and Preibus expressed high hopes for the future of the country under the leadership of Trump. Towards the end of the conference, Bannon remarked that Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be "one of the the most pivotal moments in American history."

5. Trump Reverses Policy Regarding Transgender Students' Use of Bathrooms 

Trump's administration has been aiming to strip any public school bathroom codes for transgender students. Obama's administration issued various bathroom and locker-room regulations last year to protect against gender discrimination towards transgender students. Now transgender students will lack federal protections to use the bathroom or locker room that corresponds to their gender identity. Many civil rights and LGBT groups are concerned that Trump's reversal of transgender bathroom regulations will lead to bullying and discrimination. 

6. Trump Calls Forth a New Round of Immigration Raids 

The President celebrated his "military operation" that would round up and deport undocumented immigrants with a past crime history. Kellyanne Conway has asserted that there will be no mass deportations and everything "will be done legally and according to human rights." Trump's aim is to remove all immigrants who are associated with crime in the country. 

Overall, Trump's administration has made marked progress this week with its actions towards climate change, transgender rights, immigration and national security. The President has portrayed his emphasis on the protection of the American people by naming a new security advisor and clamping down on immigration regulations. Before this week, Trump was merely discussing his conservative agenda for the White House. Now, Trump is taking action and paving a clear path towards achieving his campaign goals. 

Lead Image Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons

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Diana Pope - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Diana is a political science major who also enjoys journalism, history, and philosophy. She loves writing, researching, and debating about politics. In her free time, she enjoys Grey's anatomy marathons and reading detective fiction.

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